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I am most pleased to note some real growth in the Federal support
of scientific research since fiscal year 1975, even taking
inflation into account.
Most importantly, the President
this year has proposed a budget that provides a substantial
increase for the NSF program and for research programs of many
other Federal agencies.
I urge you to consider authorizing
the total budget for NSF as requested by the President.
Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the President's support of science and technology as demonstrated by his personal presentation on January 14, 1980, of the National Medal of Science, our highest national scientific award, to
20 distinguished scientists and engineers.
Eleven of these
persons at one time or another have received NSF support.
The Board has also developed the concept of the science
indicator reports, which are similar to the Nation's valuable
economic and social indicator reports.
This series of reports
has evolved into the acceptable and useful form with which
As you know, the President transmitted
the latest of these reports, Science Indicators--1978, to
the Congress on November 19, 1979, with a message commending
it to your attention. The Board is continually expanding and refining the science indicator series in order to describe quantitatively better the condition of science, research, and technology in the United States.
During these past 12 years the Committee on Science and
Technology has made major contributions to the scientific
and technological enterprise of this Nation.
other accomplishments, it has guided and overseen this Nation's
exploration of outer space, the development of energy research
activities, and the improvement of science education.
In 1968 the Committee was chaired by the distinguished gentleman
from California, Representative George P. Miller.
He took a
special interest in NSF activities, including inspecting
certain national centers supported by NSF (among which were
the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, Kitt
Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, and the National
Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado).
was succeeded by another of my fellow Texans, Representative
olin E. Teague.
The Committee's efforts are
now directed by
Representative Don Fuqua (D.-Fla.).
Members of the Committee on Science and Technology, notably
members of this Subcommittee, have familiarized themselves
with many NSF activities and facilities, including the U. S.
Antarctic Research Program (USARP). That ice-covered continent,
has a great potential for the world in terms of international
cooperation, weather prediction, natural resources, and
Most recently, Representative John W. Wydler
(R.-N.Y.) of the full Committee was
a member of the group
late last year which commemorated the 50th anniversary of
Admiral Richard E. Byrd's first flight over the South Pole.
My colleagues on the Board appreciate the special interest
evidenced by Committee Members in NSF programs and activities.
Dr. Hackerman and I have also seen many changes in the roles
and relationships of the National Science Foundation, which
according to the NSF Act consists of the "National Science
Board. . . and a Director."
Over the years numerous individuals
have served on the National Science Board, representing in
manner every aspect of the scientific, educational, and
Many of these people have also
been widely active in public affairs.
We have served with four of the five directors, who are,
you know, ex officio Members of the Board.
has played a significant, but different role vis-a-vis the
It has been my experience that the relationships
between the Board and the respective Directors have been
They appear to be especially close with the
incumbent, Dr. Richard C. Atkinson, whom we consider to be
an outstanding "chief executive officer" of the Foundation.
I think that the inccements in the NSF activities the past
few years are due in part to the confidence of the Administration
and the Board in the Foundation's able Director and his staff,
as well as to the important help of this and other congressional
Although the principal role of the Board is that of policy
making, including counsel and guidance to the Director,
an important aspect of the activities of Board Members is
their relationship and liaison with the Congress, the Office
of Management and Budget, as well as the scientific, educational,
brought to bear on the issues and problems considered in
the Board's wide-ranging deliberations.
Some elements of the world population have criticized science and technology and have attempted to blame them
The responsibility lies
for many of our present problems.
not with science and technology, but rather on how people
have utilized the fruits of science and technology.
generated by their misuse, as well as
numerous other problems,
appear to me,
as a scientist, to be solvable through better
utilization of existing scientific knowledge and the development
of new knowledge.
These problems cannot be resolved by
withdrawal or by ignoring the problems.
Shortly after I was appointed to the National Science Board the
appropriation of the National Science Foundation amounted
to about $400 million in 1969.
Since then, the budget and
the breadth of the NSF programs have grown substantially.
As you know, the President's Budget for fiscal year 1981
contains a request of $1.148 billion for NSF, almost triple
of that 12 years ago.
In 1968, for example, NSF funded only the research portion
13 laboratories for materials research, funds a major submicron
research facility at Cornell University, and performs
a list too long to name here of other major responsibilities
as described in our budget request and as authorized by the
I would like to conclude by emphasizing that the Foundation's
budget estimates and proposed programs for fiscal year 1981
have been fully endorsed by the National Science Board.
Committee on Budget, in consultation with the NSF staff,
examines program proposals, studies the balance among NSF
activities, and recommends priorities to the Board.